Rangers vs. Devils Line at New Jersey -120: Game 3 NHL Playoffs

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
May/18/2012
Rangers vs. Devils Line at New Jersey -120:  Game 3 NHL Playoffs

The Rangers vs. Devils line had New Jersey as a -120 favorite for Game 3 of the NHL Playoffs.  All hockey odds were available at Sportsbook here, where qualified customers can receive up to $250 in FREE CASH. 

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: New Jersey -120 & 4.5 over -130

After tying up the series with an impressive 3-2 win in Game 2, the Devils look to take advantage of home ice as the series shifts back to New Jersey for Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.

In Game 2, the Devils rediscovered the winning formula that made them so successful in the second round. New Jersey frustrated Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with constant traffic in front of the net. Two of the Devils’ three goals came off shots from the point deflected in by a forward in front—none bigger than David Clarkson’s game-winner 2½ minutes into the third period. Clarkson used terrific hand-eye coordination to redirect Adam Henrique’s shot and fool Lundqvist. From there, the Devils did what they do best, using a relentless forecheck to stifle the Rangers attack (8 shots on goal in third period) and hold onto the lead for an important road win. Expect more of the same in Game 3, as the Devils appear to have solved—for now—the Rangers’ committed shot-blocking techniques that silenced their offense in Game 1. New Jersey boats the second-best home record in the postseason (4-1) while the Rangers are just 3-3 on the road in these playoffs. Expect Devils’ head coach Peter DeBoer to take advantage of the line matchups with the power of last change, much in the same way Capitals’ coach Dale Hunter did in the second round against the Blueshirts.

The big story following the Rangers’ loss in Game 2 was the inexplicable third period benching of New York’s best scorer: Marian Gaborik (four goals, six assists). John Tortorella has a penchant for benching players for defensive miscues, and Gaborik’s failed clearing attempt led to the Devils’ game-tying goal late in the second period. Despite trailing for most of the third period, Gaborik did not see the ice until over 11 minutes into the frame, and he was also benched for the final 1:30 while the Rangers’ desperately tried to tie the game with Lundqvist pulled. The playoffs hardly seem like the right time to teach a lesson—that’s what the regular season is for—but don’t put anything past the fiery New York bench boss.

The good news for the Rangers: rookie LW Chris Kreider (four goals, two assists) remained hot in Game 2, scoring his second goal of the series after a two-point performance in Game 1. New York also got a goal from D Marc Staal (three goals, three assists), extending an impressive streak for Rangers defensemen: a New York defender has now scored in four out of their past five games.

The Devils put forth an impressive effort offensively after getting blanked in Game 1. LW Ilya Kovalchuk (six goals, seven assists) started the scoring off in the first period with a beautiful snipe from the left circle, beating Lundqvist on the high glove side. In Game 1, it seemed like none of New Jersey’s shots could make it through the lanes, with the Rangers blocking everything in sight. Kovalchuk made a terrific adjustment on his goal, utilizing his slick hands to shot fake, freezing the New York defenders and creating more space in the middle of the ice. Look for the Devils to use more shot fakes as the series wears on—it appears to be a great counter-punch to the Rangers’ defensive strategy.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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